As you read this blog, I must warn that you will find, honest thoughts, ambitions, and hopes from my mind.
In Year 7 and 8, netball club was compulsory. We were forced to turn up in the freezing cold and haul the equipment across the entire parade square, set it up and then play for an hour while everyone else in the school socialised and had fun. I recall running away from a session once with my friend, and when they discovered us to be absent, we were sent straight back and had to put all the equipment away ourselves… I swear that’s child labour. Needless to say, netball was dreaded, and I dropped it as soon as I could, which was the end of year 8.
Our boarding houses have different sport competitions throughout the year. The girls’ houses have interhouse hockey, netball, swimming, cross country and athletics, whilst the boys’ houses have interhouse hockey, cross country, rugby, athletics and cricket. This is great news for all athletic people, and very bad news for us lazy people. Every year, I participate in the swimming and, unfortunately, the athletics (somebody has to come last at 1500!). As it so happened, this year, when it was time to put together a netball team, guess who unexpectedly put their name forward? Me.
You’re all now probably thinking ‘I thought you hated netball?’. Well, let me explain. I hated netball in junior because I disliked the netball coach who told me that I couldn’t shoot and should be Goal Keeper instead (crushing my dreams of being Goal Shooter) and I didn’t appreciate sacrificing our free time. The actual sport was awesome! Every goal that I stopped and each time I sent the ball flying down towards our post, I got a burst of adrenaline through my body and I struggled to keep in how proud I was of my defence skills. So, when the netball opportunity arose this year, I recalled how much fun the actual sport was, and wrote my name onto the team list as Goal Keeper.
The night before, I practiced with my bouncy ball in the house. Yes, it was a lot lighter than a netball ball, but it was the most I could do. I bounced it against my wall for a good half an hour, using proper netball throws and catching it like a pro, throwing a couple of pivots in here and there. I was so nervous, and just wanted to be a little prepared.
Saturday arrived – the day of the match. We would be playing one boarding house, then sitting out for a match, and then playing the other boarding house (there are only 3 senior girl boarding houses). Throughout the warm up, I was totally buzzing. I was so excited at the prospect of playing, I didn’t even consider the strength of the other teams.
Foolish mistake there. To shorten a long boring tale, we were crushed in the first match. The whole of that house’s team were on the official netball team, giving them a massive advantage against a team with a Goal Keeper who hasn’t played in 4 years! They were slick and fast, and no matter how high I jumped and how many times I threw the ball back down the court, they still managed to beat us.
I left the court, disheartened at the defeat. What was the point in trying? That match had been a disaster. I might as well not even bother trying for the last match. And then I heard it. That comment. That sly, little comment muttered under someone’s breath, who was in the house who had beaten us. ‘There was no point in them even coming out to play today’ followed by a snigger. My blood boiled and I wanted to rage. How dare they judge us like that?! We’d come out, we’d tried and we’d given it our all! No one can ask any more of us – just because their house had amazing players doesn’t mean we can suddenly up our game any more than we had already! But i didn’t turn around and terrify the accuser. That comment fuelled me on to go and prove them wrong in the next match. I knew we could do it, and I stored up my anger for the match, biding my time.
And prove them wrong we did. We absolutely, totally, completely ANNIHILATED the next house! The ball was passed like lightening between our players, and our incredible defence team only allowed 2 goals in from the opposing house. We sent the ball straight up to our Goal Attack and Goal Shooter, who scored at least 7 goals, winning us the match. I screamed and jumped up and down before strutting my way out the hall for a well-deserved shower, fully aware of the silence and glare from the girl with the snide comment and her friends. Who’s laughing now?
Well, my dear readers, what’s your favourite sport? Comment below! Much love to you all. Good night.